Rapids 2, Fire 0

Omar Cummings scored in the 58th minute to help lead the

Colorado Rapids to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Sunday


The teams exchanged scoring chances for much of the game until

Cummings found himself alone in the slot. Brian Mullan set up

Cummings’ second goal of the year. Cummings has six goals in seven

games in his career against Chicago.

Last season, Cummings struggled to score goals as opponents

double- and triple-teamed the Colorado forward.

”It was like two defenders and a forward were always there,”

Cummings said of his three-goal campaign. ”I’d shift over to one

side and one of them would shift over and it was difficult to get


This year already seems to be one of better fortune.

”I’m not going to be too happy and go over the edge,” Cummings

said. ”It’s four games into the season and we have 30 more to


Kamani Hill added a goal in added time at the end of the


Matt Pickens earned his second shutout of the year and his 23rd

as a member of the Rapids (3-1-0). He trails only Joe Cannon (25)

for the career franchise lead.

”I’m very happy with the results,” Colorado coach Oscar

Pareja. ”This makes me more optimistic about the team.”

Pablo Tornaghi had a strong game in goal for the Fire (1-2-1).

Tornaghi has given up four goals in three games.

Dominic Oduro, who has scored the team’s only goals this season,

was denied three times by Pickens.

”This was a tough one it was a little disappointing,” Chicago

coach Frank Klopas said. ”I thought we had a couple of chances

that we didn’t make them pay.”

The road team has won only once in the last 15 games in the

season series, and this is the only meeting between the teams this


The game was scoreless at the break in a half that began when

Pickens smothered a rocket shot from the slot by Marco Pappa in the

second minute for Chicago. Tornaghi matched it with a diving stop

of a shot by Tony Cascio in the 11th minute.

Pappa set up Oduro for a breakaway attempt in the 37th minute.

Pickens came well out of the crease to jump on Oduro’s shot.

Pickens caught a shot that deflected off several players huddled in

front of the net in the 42nd minute.

”I think I just miss hit the ball,” Oduro said. ”I tried to

get a shot off and didn’t get good contact to it. I wish I had done

something better.”

Added Pickens: ”I didn’t expect him to take a touch in and go.

I’d rather take balls that are 20 or 30 yards out than balls that

are in the box.”

Colorado failed to convert on a penalty kick from short range

after Jeff Larentowicz was fouled. But Martin Rivero’s free kick

sailed well over the cross bar in the 55th minute.

Three minutes later, Colorado had a 1-0 lead.

Rivero dumped a pass deep into the Chicago zone. Mullan ran the

ball down and fed Cummings in the slot, and Cummings sent a shot

past Tornaghi.

Pickens kept Chicago off the scoreboard in the 68th minute.

Oduro peppered him with two hard shots 15 seconds apart that

Pickens blocked with both hands.